What better way to celebrate my 100th blog post then a live blog of a big game between #12 Marquette and #13 Villanova. And while this really is not a rivalry, per se, it still should be a lot of fun.
1st Interactive Tuesday question of the night. Who should be the Big East player of the year? Go to ESPN.com and cast your votes, stat!
Marquette wins the tip. James misses a shot but Nova tipped it out of bounds. Hayward from 3 BURIES IT! Marquette jumps on top early. Nova struggles to keep possession of it but Reynolds gets it, gives it to Clark who DRAINS ONE FROM 3!
ANOTHER 3 BY MATTHEWS OF MARQUETTE! I hope you took the over. Nova inbounds, Reynolds takes one from 3 and ANOTHER 3! THIS ONE FROM REYNOLDS! Good grief! Marquette struggles with the ball and Nova gets a turnover. Anderson misses a 3, but Anderson gets it back and hits a 2. DOMINIQUE JAMES ALLEY-OOPS IT FOR MARQUETTE!
"We've got so many athletes out here." - Len Elmore
Thanks Captain Obvous! Burke tips one in for Marquette off the rebound. Redding misses a 3 for Nova. Missed 3 by McNeal and we have a timeout as Clark is shaking up.
"Nova can't hang with Marquette's guards." - Interactive Tuesday poster
Foul on Anderson and Marquette will shoot 2. THey make 1. Fisher misses the layup but Nova gets the tip in. Nova gets the ball back and Reynolds is fouled.
10-9 Villanova at the media timeout.
DeJuan Blair from Pittsburgh is our poll winner. Reynolds makes 1 out of 2. Butler rebounds Redding's miss. 3-shot from Marquette goes out of bounds and Nova takes over. ANDERSON IS SMOKING HOT! ANOTHER 3! Hayward connects with a basket. Cunningham gets his first of the day and a foul on Villanova at the other end.
After 2 Marquette free-throws, Anderson makes a great 2-pointer for Villanova as Dave Pasch goes crazy! Cunningham gets called for a travel as he stumbled to the ground.
Next question. What title team was a better Cinderella story? 77 Marquette or 85 Villanova?
James of Marquette makes somewhat of an underhanded basket! That was interesting to look at. Cunningham gets a basket after a pair of Nova misses. HAYWARD DRILLS ONE FROM 3! Reynolds from Marquette can't connect. MCNEAL GETS HIS FIRST BASKET OF THE GAME AND IT'S A 3! Timeout Villanova.
Does it get any more boring than Len Elmore? (SSReporters)
No, not really. Although he is not that bad of an analyst, I just would never want him to teach a physics class.
James airballs a free throw. How on earth do you do that? The next one is off the rim. JAMES ATONES FOR IT WITH A 3! Marquette knocks it out of bounds. Reynolds gets fouled as he tried to split the defense.
Anyone watching Duke-UNC tomorrow?
MATTHEWS WITH A 3! COREY FISHER ANSWERS FROM 3 AT THE OTHER END! Travelling on Marquette. JAMES HITS A 3! Marquette has hit 9 in a row. Reynolds was stripped but Nova was able to recover. Anderson misses. McNeal misses from 3! He should be benched immediately.
Anderson gets one out of the 1-and-1. Foul on Anderson, as he picks up his 2nd and the 4th for the Wildcats. James connects with a basket. FISHER FROM 3! 2-straight misses for Marquette and Nova has a chance to get back in it.
Redding misses a wide open 3. McNeal misses a 3 at the other end and Redding comes in 1-on-2 and gets called for an offensive foul! Can't say I disagree though.
"New record coming tonight for most 3's ever." -Some poster
Although he may not be too far off as Cunningham connects! Badly missed shot and it goes out of bounds off Nova. Can't say that I agree with that one.
Both sides miss as Reynolds connects with a beautiful layup as he slips and he gets fouled! And-1! Timeout Marquette.
Nice to see Nova staying in the game and not giving up(see Norte Dame). (49er16)
Reynolds misses his free throw. There's a foul at the other end and Matthews makes 1 of 2. REYNOLDS TIES IT WITH A 3! Out of bounds at the other end, last touched by Fisher. Easy basket on the inbounds as I think a few Wildcats fell asleep. Basket by Nova, miss by McNeal, and a few shots for Nova and they can't get it to fall. Foul on Villanova.
We're tied at 40 at the media timeout.
I missed who said it, but someone just said that Digger Phelps would be the next coach to 1,000 wins.
Next poll: Who will win Carolina-Duke? (I knew this one was coming).
Marquette makes a free throw as they follow it up by swatting a Villanova pass out of bounds. Cunningham has given Nova the lead with that jumper! McNeal gives Marquette the lead right back with his jumper. Fisher is fouled as he shoots from 3! It's James' first foul of the evening.
Fisher goes 3-for-3 from the line! 2-point lead for the Wildcats. A wideopen lay up by James ties it up. They get the ball back but turn it over. FISHER CONNECTS DEEP FROM 3-LAND!
I think we may reach my final predicted score by halftime. Offensive foul on McNeal! 57.4 seconds to go in the half. Reynolds from 3 is short and Hayward rebounds it nicely. James loses it! Loose ball scramble and it's out of bounds on Marquette! 10-seconds to go. Cunningham loses the ball but it goes off a Marquette player and with 4.5 to go the Wildcats wil have a nother chance. Fisher finds STOKES WHO DRILLS IT FROM 3 TO END THE HALF!
50-45 Villanova at the half. I'll see you in this thread at the other side of the break.
Ooh! A special halftime question. Who will be the next coach to reach 1,000 wins? Coach K, Jim Boehiem, Jim Calhoun, or Bob Knight? If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Coach K.
Nova starts the half with the ball and Cunningham sinks a jumper. McNeal misses and there's a whistle as Anderson is down. Turnover for the Wildcats. James misses one behind the backboard as he claims he was fouled. Steal by James, pass to McNeal who connects with a beautiful layup! Cunningham takes a jumper and he just makes that shot look easy! Hayward is a house of fire, connecting with another jumper, this time from 2-land.
Cunningham to Reynolds to the hoop. If only every basketball game was like this. This is fun to watch. Fisher has his shot blocked. Missed hook shot by Marquette and Redding at the other end misses a wide open 3-shot!
America agrees with me in that Coach K will get 1,000 wins next. REYNOLDS HITS A 3! 10-POINT LEAD FOR THE WILDCATS!
Wes Matthews gets 2 back but Reynolds takes that one away with 2, giving him a game high of 20. Timeout Marquette.
Some Poster: "MU is going to run these guys out of the gym." Yeah, that's why they are down by seven. (49er16)
I love it when posters like that get pwned. And now the question is who is the best dressed coach in college b-ball and I'm just shocked that Bruce Pearl is not an option. Reynolds picks up a foul.
Media timeout, 61-51 Wildcats.
Big East basketball game = 50-45 at the half. Big Ten basketball game with 3:22 left in the game = 45-38 (Via SSR)
It's always good to know there are absolutely no differences between Big 10 football and Big 10 basketball. Matthews makes both free-throws. Pena with a beautiful hook over Hayward. Foul called on Shane Clark. Another foul on the inbound we've got double Ts on Pena and Hayward, respectively, as a hockey match has broken out. And now they are saying team those are team Technicals.
Foul on Cunningham after the free throw. Hayward makes one from 2 as Marquette is trying to creep back into it. Fisher misses from downtown. Foul on Fisher. McNeal makes a free throw as the Wildcat lead is now only 6.
"nova wants it more tonight....unfortunaltely" - Some Marquette fan.
FISHER FROM DOWNTOWN AGAIN! Marquette misses at the other end and Fisher takes it all the way to the basket! HAYWARD DRAINS A 3! Out of bounds on Villanova. Butler is blocked by Redding. And Rick Pitino is the best-dressed coach in college basketball, according to 1,600 people. Marquette misses a freebie. And Corey Stokes goes unmolested to the hoop and it's back to a 10-point lead! Marquette gets 2 back on what could have been a travel. Foul on Marquette.
Tv timeout time, Nova leads 70-62.
Michigan State is about to clinch a win over Michigan. (Via SSR)
That's good news for Penn State, who will be in need of a few breaks and a hot-stretch down the road if they want to make the tournament. As of now, they are in Joe Lenardi's "Next 4 out". Although as a Big 10 team, if they do make it, my hopes are not high. For the reason, that, well, they're in the Big 10.
Quick 2-on-1 and Marquette pulls back within 6. CLARK FROM 3 KNOCKS IT DOWN! Foul on Cunningham. Marquette misses. REYNOLDS FROM THE PARKING LOT! 12-point lead for the Wildcats.
Timeout Marquette. Offensive foul on Matthews. Cunningham extends the lead to 14! DOMINIQUE JAMES WITH A BEAUTIFUL ONE-HANDED JAM! McNeal jams it down and all of a sudden it's back to a 10-point game. James picks up a foul for the Golden Eagles. McNeal picks up his 3rd foul.
Next question: Who will win tomorrow's Syracuse-UConn game?
My money is on UConn. Fisher misses his first but makes his 2nd. 8:31 to go in the game. McNeal from downtown is no good. McNeal gets the ball back and Stokes is called for a blocking field.
79-68 Villanova leads with 7:59 to go at the TV timeout.
ESPN Interactive Tuesday has to go....NOW! (Via SSReporters)
Yeah, it's, um, kind of pointless. Oh, this was the last question. What a shame. 80% of the people who voted picked UConn. McNeal misses his first free throw. Wow, hty're only 50% on the day. And true to form, McNeal finishes 1 for 2. Cunningham has a wide-open jumper rim out. Foul on Nova and McNeal will go back to the line.
Cunningham gets benched. McNeal stays true to form with the free throw. Clark again connects from inside and Hayward is called with an offensive foul! Everything is going the Wildcats' way.
Marquette kicks it out of bounds. Reynolds makes a wideopen layup off the inbounds pass and it's a 13-point Villanova lead. MCNEAL HITS FROM 3 AND HE NOW HAS 20!
The Wildcats have shot 70% from the floor this half. Do you know when they will go cold? It will be March, as always. Reynolds goes 1 for 2. MCNEAL FROM 3 AND HE'S THE ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER IN MARQUETTE HISTORY!
Congrats to him as Clark connects again. Hayward can't connect and an inside feed to Stokes who buries! Out of bounds on Villanova and the refs missed that one, I think. Hayward has it taken away. Pena gets fouled and nearly had an and-1 situation. It rimmed out, though.
Antonio Pena misses both fee throws. Matthews scres and Marquette is down by 11. BEAM ME UP SCOTTIE! ANOTHER 3 FROM REYNOLDS AND IT'S A 14-POINT VILLANOVA LEAD! Timeout Marquette.
Redding has a steal but bodies start hitting the floor and Marquette gets the ball on the out of bounds call. Pass inside to Hayward and we'll have to wait until after the break to sort this one out.
92-78 Wildcats over the Golden Eagles at the TV timeout.
The refs could call any number of things here. Foul, shot clock violation, travel, you name it, it could be called here. Hayward makes both free throws, and perfection has been a rarity for Marquette from behind the foul strike. Cunningham misses the lay up. Matthews capitalizes on McNeal's pass and Marquette just won't go away. Hayward misses, tries the tip in, misses again, and a foul on Marquette!
Both teams are in double bonus territory. Redding goes 1 of 2. Hayward actually misses a basket. That has not occured too often. Redding is fouled by Butler who now has 4. Redding goes 1 of 2 again and both of these teams are shooting free throws like Memphis last year.
Bonus question! What's the better meal? Brats or cheesesteaks?
CHEESESTEAK FOR THE WIN! Timeout Villanova as they can't inbound.
Dave Pasch looks like a real waiter holding that food. And the fans go with cheesesteak.
"Only 900 people voted." - Dave Pasch
"The rest of the country probably does not know what a brat or a cheesesteak is." - Len Elmore
The fact that there was only a minute to vote, combined with the fact that you already said that the question before it was the last question, may have a bit to do with it. Stokes goes 2 for 2 from the line and they are 4-points away from breaking 100. Marquette misses and that may have been their last chance to get back into the game. Foul on Marquette.
Cunningham makes the first but misses the second. They rebound the miss, though and Nova will get another chance! Matthews fouls.
Oh yay, Villanova plays West Virginia on Friday the 13th. That should be....interesting.
One more free throw and the Cats are 2 away. Marquette misses and the wildcats rebound. 1:18 to go. Marquette looks like they are content wih losing this one. CLARK FROM 3.......OFF THE RIM AND IT BOUNCES IN! THAT'S 101 FOR THE WILDCATS!
Chants of "Overrated!" from the crowd in the Pavilion, as the Wildcats may very well be the dark horse to win the Big East.
101!!!!!!!!! FREE CHEESESTEAKS! (Via SSR)
Reynolds leaves the game with 27 points on the game.
"Villanova has the second most talent in the conference behind UConn." - Some poster.
And that's it! Villanova puts up their second straight 102-point game, this time beating Marquette 102-84. Thanks for joining me tonight!